10 Songs Necessary for Any Totally ‘80s Playlist

via weheartit.com

via weheartit.com

Oh, to be a teenager in the ‘80s. Somebody needs to fire up their DeLorean and take me back to the year 1980, at the exact age I am now (23, so I don’t have to worry about being carded when I go to Danceteria). I need to be able to wear leggings with neon colored tops and crimped hair freely and a billion bangle bracelets on my arm. I need a boyfriend in a Member’s Only jacket with Judd Nelson badass behavior to drive me to a midnight showing of Raiders of the Lost Ark in his Pinto. Most of all, I want my MTV – one that actually played music.

Since I’m stuck in the present as a young adult/professional, I make it my mission to know all I can about the ‘80s from watching John Hughes classics, that VH1 I Love the ‘80s series (I used to sit around on Saturdays and watch like 10 hours of it in a row. Totally tubular) and all of the ‘80s songs my iTunes can recommend me. Here’s a list of the 10 essential songs for a solid ‘80s playlist (mix tape, if you’re into using cassettes instead. The ‘80s can keep the cassettes. I like my iPod). I didn’t include Madonna or Prince or Cyndi Lauper because I’m gonna assume the full playlist has them featured multiple times. This is a tribute to some songs that might get overlooked that shouldn’t.

We gotta hold on to what we’ve got. Thanks for the life lesson, Bon Jovi.

1) Chains of Love- Erasure

Do you remember there was a time? When people on the street were walking hand in hand in hand? This song is here to remind us all that together, without giving up; we will break these chains of love. Which I guess is the opposite of what we really want to do, strengthen them right? Right? Whatever. Grab your best friend and dance till you’re a maniac!

2) ‘Party All the Time’ – Eddie Murphy

For all you little ones out there, there was a time when Eddie Murphy had a career that didn’t include talking donkeys. This was a part of the career move Murphy made when he decided to try being a pop star on for size. The decision, with the influence of Rick James in the music video, gave us the immortally hilarious ‘Party All the Time’, which continues to be a major inside joke between me and my friends. One of my girlfriends and I actively act out the song, particularly the bit, “Diamonds on her fingers!” I dunno Eddie, there might still be time for a comeback…

3) ‘Rock Me Amadeus’ – Falco

In the movie Adventureland, Jesse Eisenberg whined and moaned about this song being played 10 times a day at the amusement park he worked at. Shut your mouth and go hang out with K. Stew. I’d be down for this song to be played 10 times a day if I worked there. I’d also be one of the backup dancers with Lisa P.

4) ‘Personal Jesus’ – Depeche Mode

It would be criminal for me not to include Depeche Mode on this playlist, especially this song with its Western-styled music video. I recommend downloading the version from the remastered Violator album. It’s longer and includes more of than synthesizer goodness we know and love.

5) ‘Fascinated’ – Company B

Sounds like Madonna? Kylie Minogue? It’s neither – just a little one hit dance floor wonder from Company B. Infectiously catchy with lyrics that could reel in any guy you’re attempting to mouth the words to in the deafening club. (WHAT? I’M FASCINATED BY YOUR LOVE BOY! WHAT?) If you’ve got your eye on a cute guy under the strobe light, this is the song to get your moonwalk on to.

6) ‘Lips Like Sugar’ – Echo & the Bunnymen

For the tortured soul who loves The Cure and Joy Division and doesn’t like to dance, this is for you. You can try emulate Ally Sheedy from The Breakfast Club all you want, but even you want to be compared to being like a swan who floats to other shores and has lips like sugar. Swoon.

7) ‘Pump Up The Volume’ – MARRS

The first time I heard this song was from watching My Stepmother is an Alien, in which I wanted to grow up to be as rad as Kim Basinger. There aren’t a whole lot of ‘80s jams that can flow flawlessly from the dancefloor to the runway to volumizing hair shampoo commercials, but this one proved it can be done. Put the needle on the record when the song beats go like this.

8) ‘West End Girls’ – Pet Shop Boys

Slinky and cool as Debbie Harry, this song is for driving at the twilight of night with the top down and your collar popped up to. The name of the album this song came from was Please so when I’d request to listen to it as a little girl, “Pet Shop Boys Please!” I’d sound super polite. I was a spunky kid.

9) ‘How Soon is Now?’ -The Smiths

That opening oscillating guitar riff and the sweet sad voice of Morrissey starting off waxing poetic on being “human and I need to be loved” lets you know that you’re in good company. Fewer songs in my life have been so relevant for me to make this bold statement but here it comes: oh hot damn, this is my jam.

10) ‘Dance Hall Days’ – Wang Chung

Is it time for an ‘80s high school reunion yet? You’ll be dancing the worm to this one, remembering the good old years. We were so in phase, in our dance hall days.

Image via weheartit.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/jennylonussen Jenny Lonussen

    I love the Smiths :-) How soon is now, was a big part of the end of my 90’s too haha! (Theme song of Charmed).. Great list!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002166654190 Faye Louise Godwin

    I’d give anything to have a night out in a club that played nothing but 80’s music. I’d forgotten all about Eddie Murphy, just had a giggle bringing up the video on youtube….some fab fashion being worn.

  • http://www.facebook.com/molliecain Mollie Cain

    Oh my gosh, I agree! I was born in the wrong decade. I may be a product of the ’80’s but I wish I could have partied in them. Like you, I want to freely wear frizzy hair, bright clothing, excessive accessories & rock out to Cyndi Lauper.
    Well, at least we’ve got VH1 & a legacy of songs to listen to!

  • http://www.facebook.com/heidi.birnbaum Heidi Sterner Birnbaum

    the picture but no Madonna mention??? the first notes of ‘Crazy for You’ instantly induce flashbacks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1080830127 Beth Curry

    I wish I could have experienced the 80s! I feel so young, and like I’ve missed out on so much good music. However I own most of the songs on this list, woo!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002516672472 Mary Sizelove

    Love your style girl. I’m always a fan of the eighties. And depeche mode :) niiiice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/electriceyeslilsighs Maria Quaratino-Fulton

    This entire list is amazing. I so wanted to be Ally Sheedy back in the day. I would add The Church – Under the Milkyway to this list. I love driving around at night with the windows down to that one. 😀

  • http://www.facebook.com/samantha.aguinaldo Samantha Aguinaldo

    Yay for Heather! I love reading your posts :]

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=906215 Cecilia Camps

    Yes to Eddie Murphy’s “Party all the Time”!! Priceless video with Rick James on the sound booth raising his fist triumphantly, as if to say “Eureka!” Great suggestions!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=19604860 Amber Alvarado

    I needed to see Time Of My Life on here, that song always brings me back to Pop Rocks and high tops

  • http://www.facebook.com/crystal.stewart1 Crystal Stewart

    I might have danced around my house to “Party all the time” …

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=515713261 Ali Berry

    Fascinated doesn’t get enough love. Kinda like Yaz – Situation. Major props and back pats.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=729175659 Flo Chica

    23? Wow. Oh to be young and wishful. To be a teenager in the 80s was filled with lots of Madonna lookalikes and massive amounts of Aqua Net. I think my asthma was partially caused by the massive amounts I used. Its always funny when you look back and think about how cool stuff was back then, and how you didn’t think much of it at the time. By the way, you need some Madonna, GoGo’s and Cyndi Lauper on your list, not to mention some Wham. NO list is complete without them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1548011455 Shar Rowell

    Some of the best music came from the 80’s. The Bangles “Eternal Flame”, the rise (and fall) of Milli Vanilli, Cyndi Lauper, Debbie Gibson…Madonna set the bar for me, though. None could ever hold a candle to Madonna. I miss the 80’s.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MaryJoe28 Maria Jose Rojas

    Finally! Another 23 yrd old that feels the way I do about the 80’s! (hey, I was born in them…) Thank you for this awesome post :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/ajbowers Andrew James Bowers

    Interesting choices! For a secondary list (or a b-side, to continue the mixtape metaphor) of 80’s pop I would probably consider the following:

    “Friday I’m In Love” by the Cure
    “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” by Yes
    “Out Of Touch” by Hall and Oates
    “Kids In America” by Kim Wilde
    “99 Luftballons” by Nena
    “Sunglasses At Night” by Corey Hart
    “Original Sin” by INXS
    “Slave to the Rhythm” by Grace Jones

  • http://www.facebook.com/shannnnnnnnnon Shannon Farrell

    you rekindled my love for depeche mode <3 love your blog so much!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000049711137 Carleen Guffey Abercrombie

    I was a child of the 80’s and still am. I was deprived on a lot growing up, but 80’s music was not one of them. Too many to mention so I need an iPod to play them all. Luckily for me, I married an 80’s guy so all he listens to is 80’s. But, I know more songs than he does!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=517820960 Glory Simon

    Awesome! I might swap out Personal Jesus with Lie to Me by Depeche Mode if we are going with less popular songs plus for some twisted reason I find that song so sexy. Getting on The Cure bandwagon how about Hot Hot Hot by The Cure. The 80s are endless!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=661180290 Jessica Wainwright

    I just love how the number 8 has turned into a cool dude emoticon

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